China Visa Policy

Familiarize yourself with the visa policy for China and discover Chinese visa requirements for your nationality.

Visa Policy for China

The Chinese visa policy outlines the regulations and requirements that foreign citizens from all over the world need to meet to travel to the People’s Republic of China.

The two Special Administrative Regions of China, Hong Kong and Macau, maintain their own independent border control policies and thus have their own separate visa requirements.

Citizens of most countries or regions in the world need to apply for a visa to enter mainland China, but citizens of some countries can enter China without visas for a limited period of stay if they meet certain conditions.

Visa-exempt nationalities are permitted to enter China for different periods of stay depending on their nationality, but are nevertheless required to register with the local Public Security Bureau (BSB) in their destination if planning to visit for more than 24 hours.

All other nationalities are required to obtain a visa for China from a Chinese embassy or consulate abroad before traveling to the country, whether the trip is for tourism, business, to work or study, or for other purposes.

When applying for a Chinese visa from an embassy, these travelers are required to indicate the purpose of their trip and indicate the length of the intended stay in China on the visa application form.

Travelers who are unable to leave China as planned after entering the country are required to go to a local public security entry-exit administration department to apply for a visa extension before the expiry of their permitted stay.

Find below a complete list of visa requirements to travel to China for your nationality.

Tourist Visa Policy for China

In order to travel to China for tourism purposes, it may be necessary to obtain a visa from an embassy in advance, although some foreign citizens are granted a short visa-free tourist stay.

Visa-exempt foreign citizens are able to travel to China visa-free for tourism for stays of between 15 up to 90 days, depending on their nationality.

However, according to the current visa policy of China, travelers from over 220 countries are currently required to obtain a tourist visa at the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate in their country of residence before they can travel to China for tourism.

A consular appointment for a Chinese embassy visa for tourism should be made well in advance of the intended date of arrival in the country, to ensure sufficient time for processing and approval.

It should be noted that residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan cannot directly use their passports to enter mainland China for tourism. Unless they are connecting at a specific airport for less than 24 hours) they need to apply for the relevant travel pass.

Please browse the boxes below for more information about tourist visa requirements for China for your nationality.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required

Regardless of the purpose and duration of their trip, the majority of foreign citizens must obtain an approved embassy visa from a Chinese diplomatic mission in their country of residence before they can travel to the People’s Republic of China.

Applicants for a Chinese embassy visa must ensure that the passport used for the application is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into China and contains at least one blank page.

At the moment, only a few Chinese embassies have set up online appointment services for visa applications. Therefore, it is usually necessary to contact the relevant consulate directly to set up an interview.

It is necessary to bring a range of supporting documentation to the approved visa appointment depending on the type of Chinese travel document required, whether this is a tourist visa, business visa, student visa, work visa, or other visa option.

It usually takes between 4 to 5 working days for a Chinese embassy visa to be approved from the date of submitting an application, However, in some cases, the processing time may take longer and we recommend submitting a consular application at least one month before the planned entry date.

If you need your Chinese visa to be processed urgently, please inform embassy officials when submitting your application at an embassy. As long as there are reasonable reasons, urgent processing will usually be granted, although it is necessary to pay an additional fee.

As Hong Kong and Macau SAR maintain independent border control policies, it should be noted that ordinary Chinese visas are only valid for mainland China, and not for these Special Administrative Regions

For more information, please contact the relevant Chinese embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required: Country list

  • Afghanistan
  • Aland Islands
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bonaire
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos Islands
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Czech Republic
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritania
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • North Korea
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Territory
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Maarten
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • South Korea
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Tibet Travel Permit (TTP)

In order to visit the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), all non-Chinese passport holders must obtain a Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) from the Tibet Tourism Bureau in advance of travel.

To obtain a TTP, it is first necessary to book a tour operated by a travel agency based in Tibet which includes accommodation and transportation. A TTP is usually processed and issued within 15 days of submitting an application.

Once obtained, it is necessary to present the approved TTP to the traveler’s authorized tour guide upon arrival at the airport or train station in the TAR. The guide will then hold on to the permit until the traveler leaves Tibet.

An approved TTP allows the holder to travel to the Lhasa and Nagqu areas of Tibet: in order to travel to other areas of the TAR, it is necessary to obtain an Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP) at the Lhasa Public Security Bureau.

Visa Not Required

Citizens of up to 20 countries can currently enter China without a visa for varying periods of short stay.

The stay granted to visa-exempt nationals who wish to enter the People’s Republic of China varies between 15, 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on their nationality.

In order to enter China for the permitted period of visa-free stay, citizens of these countries must simply present a passport, which has a validity period of at least 6 months from the date of arrival, when passing through Chinese border control.

Nevertheless, all non-Chinese travelers who wish to stay in Mainland China for longer than 24 hours, including visa-exempt citizens and Hong Kong and Macau SAR permanent residents, must register with the local Public Security Bureau upon arrival.

Travelers who are staying in a hotel are able to complete this registration when completing the accommodation check-in process. However, those staying at a private residence must report to the local Chinese PSB office in person to complete this process, within 24 hours if staying in a city, and within 72 hours if staying in a rural area.

This also applies to all visa-exempt passport holders who wish to transit through China for longer than 24 hours. Failure to register with the PBS can result in a fine or a ban from visa-free transit through China for up to 2 years.

Visa-exempt travelers to China who wish to stay for periods longer than those permitted visa-free for their nationality are required to apply for the relevant visa from the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate.

Find below a complete list of countries that can travel visa-free to China.

Visa Not Required: Country list

  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Ecuador
  • Fiji
  • Grenada
  • Japan
  • Mauritius
  • Mongolia
  • Qatar
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Tonga
  • United Arab Emirates

Other visa exemptions

The following travelers are also exempt from a visa for China:

  • Citizens from more than 20 countries traveling on an organized trip to Hainan Province with an international travel agency registered in Hainan and approved by the National Tourism Administration.
  • Foreigners traveling to Hong Kong or Macao with ordinary passports of countries that have established diplomatic relations with China can enter the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong without a visa, if traveling with a tour company legally registered in Hong Kong and Macau.
  • Those holding a valid permanent residence permit for foreigners or residence permit for foreigners.

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